Bonerama No, it's not a Vanessa Del Rio flick, it's a four-trombone-powered outfit from New Orleans that makes Phil Spector's "wall of sound" seem like a cardboard fence. This 'bone barrage is the brass band equivalent of a muscle car with a horny teenager at the wheel. (FD) boneramamusic.com
Catherine Russell Catherine Russell is one of those powerful singers who acts out her songs through facial expressions, body language, and emotional vocal inflection. As a first-call background singer, she toured with David Bowie, Paul Simon, Steely Dan, Jackson Browne, and many others. But now that she's found the spotlight, she won't be going back into the shadows any time soon. (RN) catherinerussell.net
Don Mancuso Don Mancuso has been on the scene forever, and still bounds around the stage like a 58-year-old kid on Benzedrine and too much chocolate. Making the early 70's Rochester scene with Black Sheep, to playing guitar in The Lou Gramm Band and his own DDrive, Mancuso's effortless guitar style embodies true rock 'n' roll. (FD) donmancuso.com
Hot Club of Detroit See listing for Sunday, June 22.
Jack Allen Big Band Tenacious trumpeter and big-band leader Jack Allen has been blowing his horn since the age of 5, playing gigs since 12, and touring the United States with assorted combos since he was out of high school. He took over the Chick Edmond band in 1993 and continues to swing with the kind of dreamy elegance only a big band can bring. (FD) thejackallenbigband.com
Jeanne Jolly Band You'll probably get goose bumps from singer-songwriter Jeanne Jolly's heart-tugging lyrics and powerful voice. The folksy singer first gained recognition as a featured vocalist for jazz trumpeter Chris Botti. Though she's sung with symphonies and performed at massive venues like Carnegie Hall, Jolly's intimate Americana is where she truly packs a punch. (JC) Jeannejolly.com
Jon Ballantyne See listing for Sunday, June 22.
John Nyerges Quartet A superb, in-demand keyboard player, John Nyerges just completed his 20th year as pianist at the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Pops concerts. He also plays in the Dave Rivello Ensemble, the Rick Holland/Evan Dobbins Little Big Band, the Madeline Forster Band, and other groups. (RN) johnnyerges.com
John Sneider Trumpeter extraordinaire John Sneider has shared the stage with legends like Max Roach and Clark Terry, and contemporary artists like Brad Mehldau and Larry Goldings. At XRIJF he'll play alongside the jazz stars of the future in the Eastman School of Music's Gerry Niewood Scholarship program, honoring the great, multi-reed Eastman alum. (RN)
Kari Ikonen Trio Keyboard wizard Kari Ikonen won the 2013 Yrjö award — Finnish Jazz Musician of the Year — for his brilliant triple-threat work on piano, Fender Rhodes, and Moog synthesizer. His progressive trio features two more outstanding Finnish jazz artists: Ara Yaralyan on bass and Markku Ounaskari on drums. (RN) kariikonen.com
Les Doigts de l'homme See listing for Sunday, June 22.
Matt Andersen Matt Andersen writes music for the working man. The singer-songwriter's soulful folk and blues and virile voice points to hard times — and sometimes those rare joyous moments — growing up in blue-collar towns. The Canadian musician has won three Maple Blues Awards and was nominated for a British Blues Award. (JC) stubbyfingers.ca
Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio At the age of 24, Melissa Aldana won first prize in the 2013 Thelonious Monk Saxophone Competition. One listen to her masterful tone and phrasing will leave no doubt about her prowess on the instrument. Aldana was raised in Chile but came to the United States to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston in 2006. (RN) facebook.com/melissa.aldana.3958
Mike Kaupa & Friends With his gorgeous trumpet tone and his breathtaking melodic runs, Mike Kaupa has been among the most valuable players on the Rochester jazz scene for decades. A long-time performer in the Dave Rivello Ensemble, Kaupa has also played with Ray Charles, Mel Torme, Steve Gadd, Gary Bartz, and Luciana Souza. (RN)
MVT (Michael Vadala Trio) The first thing you need to know about the Michael Vadala Trio is that there are five members. Keyboardist Vadala is joined by Jamie Greene (drums), Ben Crossgrove (bass), Eli Flynn (guitar), and Matthew Billings (keys and sampling). The expanded concept of trio extends to the band's musical vision, a contemporary fusion of hip-hop, electronic, and rhythm & blues music. (RN) michaelvadalatrio.bandcamp.com
Nels Cline & Julian Lage Jazz Times has called Nels Cline "The World's Most Dangerous Guitarist." Fans of Wilco, the band Cline played with for nine years, will certainly agree. Guitarist Julian Lage was selected to tour with vibraphonist Gary Burton when he was just 15 years old. Since then he's played with David Grisman, Nnenna Freelon, and many others. Together, they inspire each other to one dazzling solo after another. (RN) julianlage.com; nelscline.com
Paul Towndrow Trio Scotland's Paul Towndrow has been described by The Guardian as "A turbo-charged amalgam of all your saxophone heroes." Since making a name for himself in Europe, holding down the alto saxophone chair with the iconoclastic Brass Jaw, Towndrow has played with The Bad Plus, John Scofield, Gary Burton, and many others. (RN) paultowndrow.bandcamp.com
Vijay Iyer See feature on page X. vijay-iyer.com
XRIFJ Nightly Jazz Session with The Bob Sneider Trio See listing for Friday, June 20.
City Newspaper's guide to Rochester's biggest music festival. The 2016 Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival runs Friday, June 24, through Saturday, July 2. For more reviews, blogs, photos, and the latest news, check our website every day of the festival.
The 2016 Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival runs Friday, June 24, through Saturday, July 2, and City Newspaper will be out every night of the festival, covering multiple shows.